Before their battle at Clash at the Castle, Seth “Freakin” Rollins and Matt Riddle were building up to a match at SummerSlam. However, WWE decided to postpone the match.
Rollins sat down with BT Sport’s Ariel Helwani to discuss why the match was postponed and his reaction to finding out he wouldn’t be wrestling at this year’s “biggest event of the summer.” He said,
“It was one of those situations where we had a regime change in the midst of the build to SummerSlam, I believe a week out, we had the biggest change in the history of our industry. When Triple H took over the creative process, he was looking at the hand that was dealt to him. They ended up having to add what I believe was the Mysterios match based on a sponsorship agreement, I believe Rey and Dom have some sort of deal with an alcohol company, a beer company, there was some money involved and they had to add the match on. To do that, you either have to take out a whole match or you have to cut time from other matches to keep the show at a reasonable time. I think the runtime ended up being almost four hours anyway. Anything beyond that is a little ridiculous in my opinion.”
“You were looking at the card and you look at the title matches, which we weren’t. You look at the celebrity matches that you only get one chance to do, which we weren’t. We kind of fell into that spot where it was, ‘we could use more weeks to build this story.’ They made the choice to ax our match and make sure all the other matches were maximized with time and story and all that. Totally understood that and respect it, I was a little upset we advertised the match and not given that to them [the fans] and at the level I have been performing for really the last year, I felt it was a bit of a slap in the face to me as a performer that I wasn’t able to be on what is essentially the second biggest show of the year for us.”
Following the news of the match being taken off the card, Rollins sent out a heartfelt message to fans on Twitter. When asked about how he felt afterward, Rollins admitted that he did feel somewhat disrespected for not having the opportunity to compete at the event.
“Of course, I think anybody in my position who takes pride in what they do, I think there’s got to be a little disrespect felt there. Did I go about it the right way? Maybe, maybe not.”
“I got the word that they were killing the match and I didn’t take too kindly to it. I had a couple of days to sit on it before they actually announced that they were going to move it. I was kind of thinking about what I wanted to do. I just feel bad for people who were excited to see the match, who had paid money, maybe, to see that match specifically that we had been building towards for a few weeks and advertised for a week or two. I felt the need to control my own narrative in that regard. I didn’t feel like letting other people shift the way the story was going was in my best interest. I took things into my own hands.”
WWE Head of Creative Triple H responded to Rollins’ message on Twitter by writing, “I hear you!”. Rollins said that he understood why Triple H responded the way he did.
“I understood what I felt was the purpose to the tweet, the response. Maybe it was a bit of a smirk. ‘Okay, he’s listening.’ It’s interesting going from his perspective because he’s been in my shoes many times and most certainly been in situations he didn’t want to be in or asked to do something he didn’t want to do creatively or maybe taken off a show when he was advertised when he was healthy or maybe not booked. He probably understood where I was coming from. Didn’t like that I was throwing pie in his face in his first week, most likely, and rightfully so. We talked about it and hashed things out. I respected his position and understood where he was coming from. I think he understood where I was coming from. We sort of agreed to disagree and just move along when it came to this situation.”
It all worked out in the end as Rollins and Riddle eventually fought at Clash at the Castle.
For anyone who purchased a ticket to #SummerSlam hoping to see me in action, I apologize. I did everything I could over the last 6 months to earn my spot on this show, but some things are out of my control. Thank you for always singing my song. They’ll hear ya someday.
— Seth “Freakin’” Rollins (@WWERollins) July 27, 2022
I hear you! https://t.co/rnU2TabagV
— Triple H (@TripleH) July 27, 2022